World Conference Against Racism




Facts to the United Nations

World Conference Against Racism



Information à Nations Unies

Conference Mondiale Contre le Racisme



Informativos a Naciones Unidas

Conferencia Mundial Contra el Racismo



31 August 2001 ­ 07 September 2001




Tamil Centre for Human Rights - TCHR




TCHR appeal to the Secretary General of                                                              02

World Conference Against Racism

                        A few noteworthy human rights violations by Sri Lanka                          03

                        Facts and figures of 18 years war against the Tamil people                                 05

                        Population 1901 - 1981                                                                                               

Do you know?                                                                                                  06

Comparison :    Palestinians - Kosovans - Tamils                                               07

                        Recent massacres and major killings of Tamils by Sri Lankan security forces                  08


ETHNIC CLEANSING - COLONISATION                                                                      

                        Tamil and Sinhala populations in the Eastern provinces                           09

                                    "                       "             Amparai district                                                         

                                    "                       "           Batticaloa district                                             10

                                    "                       "           Trincomalee district                                         

                                    "                       "           Vavuniya district                                                         

                                    "                       "           Mannar district                                                11

                        Population in Tamil hereditary regions - 1981                                                   

                        Tamil refugees around the World                                                                                  



                        Education                                                                                                        12

Minimum marks for University admission in Sri Lanka - 1971                           

                        Standardisation                                                                                     13

                        University Admission    1969-1980                                                                  


                        Employment                                                                                                   14

                        Since 1956 - Decrease in the Tamil ratio in the government service                               

Main employment in semi-government - 1981                                                              

                        Executive positions in the State administration and Engineering field                               



                        Population based on religion in 1946 in Ceylon                                      15

                        More than 2000 Hindu Temples destroyed in Tamil hereditary regions

Cost of damage to Hindu Temples  (Government figures)

                        Act of discrimination on Hindu, Muslim public holidays

                        Mahavamsa sanctions killings of Tamils                                                 16

                        Historical Hindu temples ruined                                                                        

                        Massacres in the Christian churches                                                                                         



                        Increase of defence forces doubled since 1994                                      17

                        99% Sinhalese in Army and Police - UN Special rapporteur                                         

                        Military expenditure for military operations

                        Military expenditure for year the 2000                                                   18

                        World Bank to pay for those weapons in Sri Lanka

                        Number of deaths range from 78,000-100,000                                    

                        Tamil political detainees killed in prisons



                        Sri Lankan government security forces persecute Tamils throughout the island                19

                        22 years of PTA

                        Year 2000 - over 18,000 arrested under PTA-ER                                            20       


            Rape as a weapon of war                                                                                            



                        A Declaration made by the representatives of  the Jaffna University                    21


* * * * *


31 August 2001


Mary Robinson

Secretary General

UN World Conference Against Racism


South Africa


Dear Madam,


At the very outset, we the Tamil Centre for Human Rights - TCHR, would like to warmly congratulate you on your great task as Secretary General of the World Conference Against Racism 2001.


Everyone is aware that you and your staff are working day and night to make this conference a successful one at the start of this millennium, as there are so many instances of  discriminations around the world. Various types of discrimination have paved paths for Civil war, Ethnic Conflict, Armed conflict, etc. Many of these conflicts have as their ultimate goal, the winning of Right to self-determination as the only durable solution to the political problems at the root of discrimination and xenophobia in today's world.


Madam, we do not have to tell you in detail what have been happening in Sri Lanka for the last few decades! The systematic discrimination by Sinhala political leaders against the people who live in their traditional homeland in the North-East has forced tremendous hardship upon them in many forms.


As a result of the failure to find a solution by non violent struggle and parliamentary ballot, the Tamils youth found that armed struggle was the only means to gain their fundamental rights and their right to self-determination.


After a long struggle, today Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka have a de-facto government in two thirds of their hereditary lands ­ the North East of the island. The administration of this de-facto government is lead by the Liberation Tigers of Tamils Eelam - LTTE.


The present de-facto government of Tamil Eelam has all the characteristics of other states. It has defined boundaries and has the support of the people. It has a judicial system, police force, banks, etc.  In fact, the Tamils of the North East of the island voted overwhelmingly in the 1977 parliamentary election for the same. The Sinhala leaders suppressed this ballot, shortly afterwards, by a constitutional amendment (known as the  “Sixth amendment”) in parliament.


Madam, herewith we append various facts on Colonisation, Employment, Education, Religious activities, Military activities, Genocide, etc for participants of this Conference to see how a Nation has been discriminated against during the last 55 years!


Madam, even the Norwegian mediation between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE has come to a stalemate because the government has demanded the Norwegian government to change the main mediator, Mr. Solheim. He was shuttling between the government and LTTE for nearly two years in search of peace. The government has accused Mr. Solheim of giving too much consolation to the Tamils!


Now it is time for the International community to realise that the present government cannot deliver a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. It is time for the international community to exert intense pressure on  the Sri Lankan government to stop the bloody war and start negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - LTTE in order to find a negotiated durable solution in the Island of Sri Lanka.


Thanking you,


Yours truly,


S. V. Kirubaharan

General Secretary - TCHR



A few noteworthy  Human Rights violations by Sri Lanka 

Tamil Centre for Human Rights - TCHR/CTDH                                Email : /


1948   The Citizenship Act disenfranchising Indian Tamil Plantation workers was passed in Parliament. One million 3rd generation plantation workers were living in the island for over 115 years. They were brought to the island by the British from South India to work in Tea and Rubber plantations in the hill country. 1,000,000 plantation Tamils were victimised.


1956   The "Sinhala Only" Act was passed in the Sri Lankan Parliament. This Act made "Sinhala" as a compulsory language for Tamils. Tamils staged peaceful protests in Colombo and Gal Oya. 150 Tamils were burnt or hacked to death; 20 women were raped; 3000 were rendered refugees and their properties were looted by the Sinhala mobs.


1958   Anti Tamil riots in Sinhala areas. Massacre of Tamils, looting of their properties, setting fire to their houses and even burning Tamils alive! 25,000 Tamils were rendered refugees; 500 Tamils were burnt or hacked to death; 200 Women were raped and Tamil properties were looted or destroyed by Sinhala mobs.


1961   Tamil non-violent (Satyagraha) civil disobedience campaign in the North-East was disrupted by the Sri Lankan security forces, protesters were beaten and arrested.


1964    The pact (Srima-Shastri) to evacuate Tamil plantation workers of Indian origin was signed. They were living in the Island for over 115 years. 650,000 Plantation Tamils became stateless persons.


1972   Equal education opportunities to Tamil students were denied. Standardisation on University admission  was introduced.


1974   The Fourth International Tamil research Conference held on 10/01/1974 in Jaffna was disrupted by the Sri Lanka Police. 9 Tamils were brutally killed.


1979   On the 11th of July 1979,  Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) was introduced in Sri Lanka. This Act gives free hand to the Security forces to arrest, detain, torture, rape, kill and dispose of victims bodies with impunity. Arrested people could be detained for eighteen months without being produced in courts. (July)


1981      On May 31, the Jaffna Public Library containing 95,000 volumes was completely destroyed in a fire set by a group of Police officers who went on a rampage in the Jaffna city. 95,000 volumes of irrecoverable - invaluable books were burnt.


July-August attacks on Tamil civilians. Incidents of violence centred on three specific areas: the gem mining area of Ratnapura, Negombo near the capital city of Colombo, and the plantation towns in central Sri Lanka. At least 15 plantation Tamils had been killed, numerous Tamil shops and businesses burned, and more than 5000 plantation Tamils had fled to refugee camps.


1983   May 18, more than 200 houses burnt down in Jaffna by the Sri Lankan security forces. Two  killed and many wounded  in Thirneveley.


The Government masterminded anti-Tamil riots in July 1983. More than 6,000 Tamils were killed by the Sinhalese in the South. Tamil houses and businesses were looted and destroyed. Tamils living in the South were sent by ships to the North and East by the government. 250,000 Tamils were made refugees; 2,500 Tamils were burnt or hacked to death; 500 women were raped; 53 Tamils political prisoners were brutally murdered in the Welikada prison on 25-27 July where maximum security prevailed.



1984   Tamils living in the North-East were arrested tortured and killed. Women were raped, many disappeared. Tamil properties were looted or destroyed by the Sri Lankan security forces. Air Force bombers dropped napalm bombs in residential areas causing severe loss and damage to Tamil people and their property. All these continue.


The Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Emergency Regulations (ER) adopted by the government help the security forces to commit all sorts of human rights violations with impunity.


1990      Sri Lanka uses food and medicine as weapons of war against the Tamil people. Economic embargo in Tamil areas. Food, medicine, electricity and other important items are denied to the Tamils. It continues.


1995      October 30, 1995 Mass Exodus from Jaffna: Nearly 200 Killed in Jaffna peninsula  as a result of military operations. October 30, 1995 Historic exodus and military occupation of Jaffna. The night of Monday October 30 , l995 was a black night in the entire history of the age‑old city of Jaffna. Never has history witnessed such an exodus of fear and panic stricken people screaming and squeezing themselves out of the narrow roads and lanes of Jaffna. The nearly half a million population in and around the town was literally on the roads in pouring rain inching its way out of the densely populated town into the sparsely populated and ill ‑equipped suburban villages of Chavakachcheri, Kodikamam and Palai. It was for everyone a flight for survival that day.


1996      September 07, 1996 Krishanthy Kumaraswamy. A student and 3 others raped and killed in Jaffna.  Krishanthy Kumaraswamy (18) who was returning home after sitting the GCE (A/L) examination at Chundikuli Girls High School was last seen at 11.30am at Kaithaddy checkpoint in Jaffna. She never made it home. Her mother, brother (Pranavan ‑ 16) and family friend (Mr Kirupakaran ‑ 35) who became concerned went in search of Krishanthy. They too disappeared. The discovery of the four bodies led eventually to the revelation of the existence of Chemmani mass graves.


650 people disappeared in Jaffna - several mass-graves were discovered in many parts of North-East including Chemmani. Some government soldiers confession in the Jaffna Magistrate Court revealed the fact that they buried hundreds of bodies.


1997      September 25, 38 NGOs serving in several parts of Batticaloa district were ordered by the Government of Sri Lanka to cease all humanitarian operations. This immediately followed a government order banning NGOs from assisting people in the areas of Batticaloa.


2000   January 2000 HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER MR G G PONNAMBALAM, WAS ASSASSINATED. Mr G.G. Ponnambalam Jn. (known to everyone as Kumar Ponnambalam) was involved in human rights for many years. He was a leading lawyer in Colombo. Gunmen assassinated him in Wellawatta in Colombo.



* * *



Ethnic and religious groups

(Government statistics)


Ethnic                                                                        Religion

Sinhalese                   74%,                                       Buddhist         69%,

Tamil                           18%,                                       Hindu              15%,

Moor                           7%,                                         Christian         8%,

Burgher, Malay, Vedda        1%                                          Islam               8%






Tamil Centre for Human Rights - TCHR/CTDH                                Email : /


70,000      Tamils have been killed in the North-East of the Island. This number is three percent (3%) of the total Tamil population of the Island. In other words, an average of nine (9) Tamils have  been  killed every day; or for every 50 Tamils living one has been killed.


460,000    Tamils have sought refugee status in Europe and other countries. This is 16% of the Tamil population


1,000,000      Tamils are displaced within the North-East of the Island. This is 40% of the Tamil population.


250,000    Tamil children's education affected due to either the destruction of school buildings through aerial bombings or conversion of school buildings into military camps.


60,000      Families have lost their bread winners. More than 40,000 women are forced to be widows.


300,000    Tamil houses destroyed in the North-East. Nearly 900,000 to 1,000,000 people are without  shelter and most of them live in shrub jungles or under trees.


2000                   Buildings of religious places, such as Churches and Temples have been destroyed in aerial   bombings.


9                                 State sponsored anti-Tamil pogroms with greatest venom and intensity in 1956, 1958, 1961, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982 and 1983. Also there were many other smaller scale pogroms.


(TCHR - Information accumulated from local news papers,

religious heads, NGOs and other reliable sources )



Population  1901-1981

(Table is shown on Community basis)



Year                Sinhalese                 Ceylon Tamils         Tamils                        Muslims


1901                65.4%                          26.7%                          *                                   6.4%


1946                69.2%                          11.0%                          11.7%                          5.6%


1953                69.3%                          11.0%                          10.9%                          5.7%


1963                71.2%                          11.1%                          10.6%                          6.3%


1971                71.9%                          11.1%                          9.4%                            6.5%


1981                73.98%                        12.6%**                       5.56%**                       7.12%


*           In 1901 the only terminology used to refer Tamils was "Ceylon Tamil"

**         This statistics was taken after the repatriation of plantation Tamils to India was started





*           Do you know that Tamils in the Island of Sri Lanka are not protected by the Rule of Law of Sri Lanka?


*           Do you know that a Tamil cannot become Head  of State in Sri Lanka because the constitution has made Buddhism as the state religion of Sri Lanka?


*           Do you know that the Tamil language is ignored totally in Sri Lanka?


*           Do you know that the Sri Lankan army is occupying Tamil hereditary lands and causing human disaster in those areas?


*           Do you know that Sri Lanka is the only country in the world which has enforced an economic embargo on Tamils whom it claims to be its own citizens?


*           Do you know that Tamils are routinely massacred by the Sri Lankan security forces. So far more than 100 massacres have taken place in the Tamil hereditary regions?


*           Do you know that 500,000 Tamil refugees from the island of Sri Lanka have sought asylum in foreign countries?


*           Do you know that there are 1,000,000 Tamils  internally displaced in Sri Lanka due to the genocide policy of the government?


*           Do you know that according to the UN Working group on disappearances, Sri Lanka is the country which has the 2nd highest number of disappearances for the last six years?


*           Do you know that the foreign aid irrigation schemes allocate 95% of the water resources to Sinhalese-owned lands and only the remaining 5% is divided among Tamils and Muslims?


*           Do you know that the International community is helping Sri Lanka to prolong the war?


*           Do you know that Sri Lanka is totally against any NGO participation  in and out of Sri Lanka?


*           Do you know that for last year’s World Bank meeting on Sri Lanka ­ President Chandrika Kumaratunga, 3 High profile ministers and 4 Permanent Secretaries to the Ministries were in Paris to Lobby the aid consortium! This is supposed to have been the highest level team that has represented a state in the history of the World Bank?


*           Do you know that there is a de-facto government in the Tamil hereditary regions, administrated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)?



* * *


Recent massacres and major killings of Tamils by Sri Lankan Security forces

Tamil Centre for Human Rights - TCHR/CTDH                                Email : /


Major incidents                               Date                           No. Killed                  No. Injured

Vantharumoolai                                 05/09/1990                158                             -----

Saththurukkondan                             10/09/1990                184                             -----

Kokkaddicholai (II)                            12/06/1991                82                                200

Massacre in the Killaly sea(I)           02/01/1993                52                                -----

ICRC refugee camp - Jaffna               1993                        40                                -----

Nachchikuda Massacre                               18/04/1995                30                                060

Navaly St. Peter's Church Massacres        11/07/1995                165                             150

Nagar Kovil School Children Massacre     22/09/1995                71                                100

Bolgoda Lake - Colombo                          1995                             27                                -----

Kumarapuram Massacre                             11/02/1996                24                                -----

Poonaithoduvai in Kilinochchi                     18/02/1996                11                                -----

Muthumariyamman Temple - Jaffna            03/03/1996                07                                21

Nachchikuda                                                  16/03/1996                16                                60

Sithandi, Kaluvenkerni - Batticaloa 11/05/1996                18                                30

Massacre in the Killay Sea (II)                     20/04/1996                42                                075

Puttur - Jaffna                                                03/06/1996                08                                -----

Mallavi Town - Mallavi, Vanni                       24/07/1996                09                                24

Puthukudyiruppu - Kilinochchi                      31/07/1996                10                                30

Kilinochchi town - Kilinochchi                      25/09/1996                05                                09

Puthumurippu - Kilinochchi                          25/09/1996                05                                15

Vavunikulam - Kilinochchi                            26/09/1996                04                                12

Konavil - Kilinochchi                                     27/09/1996                04                                08

Akkarayan - Kilinochchi                                29/09/1996                04                                07

Ponnalai Bridge in Jaffna                             29/01/1997                09                                -----

Nedunkerni - Vanni                                       17/07/1997                08                                22

Vavunikulam - Church - Vanni                     15/08/1997                09                                21

Mullaitivu (Manthuvil)                         11/08/1997                40                                86

Amparai                                                         24/09/1997                08                                13

Market Place in Batticaloa                           11/12/1997                05                                53

Kalutara Prison                                             12/12/1997                03                                20

Jaffna Coast - Jaffna                                    27/01/1998                09                                15

Thampalakamam                                          01/02/1998                08                                19

Vaddakkachchi in East Paranthan 26/03/1998                08                                37

Suthanthirapuram in Mullaitivu                     10/06/1998                32                                52

Mullaitivu                                                        15/09/1999                22                                35

Maddhu church - Mannar                              20/11/1999                38                                56

Batticaloa (near Buddhist temple)              17/05/2000                19                                43

Kaithaddy (Home for the age)                     19/05/2000                15                                31

Muttur (           Poomarathaddysenai)          04/10/2000                08                                ----      

Bindunuwewa detention centre                   25/10/2000                31                                78

Mirusuvil                                                         19/12/2000                08                                ----

(many more to be included)





v      Destruction of homes, property, public buildings, cultural places and objects in Tamil hereditary areas. Shelling and bombings from land, air and sea for more than sixteen years. Nearly 80% of the houses have been destroyed in Jaffna and other parts of Tamil hereditary regions.


v      Calculated plan of colonisation of Tamil areas, changing the demographic pattern of those areas.


v      Embargo imposed by the Sri Lankan government for more than eleven years, on food and medicine to the Tamil hereditary regions ­ leading to death by starvation and disease. Cruel and systematic destruction of a people. One million internally displaced Tamils living in dire conditions.


v      All the above are acts of Genocide.



Since 1827 - Tamil and Sinhala populations in EASTERN PROVINCE

(Table is shown on language basis )


Year                                        Tamil   Speaking                                Sinhala Speaking


                                                            Total               %                                 Total               %


            1827                                        46,291             99.24%                        350                  0.53%

            1881                                      118,409             93.82%                     9,146                  4.66%

            1891                                      138,907             93.89%                     9,537                  5.06%

            1901                                      159,374             91.8%                     14,228                  5.05%

            1911                                      171,590             93.4%                     12,108                  3.76%

            1921                                      179,543             93.95%                   13,278                  4.53%

            1946                                      255,083             87.8%                     24,029                  9.87%

            1953                                      303,220             85.5%                     51,190                  13.11%

            1963                                      431,870             79.25%                 114,260                  19.9%

            1971                                      564,127             78.61%                 153,444                  20.7%

            1981                                      724,652             74.4%                   251,827                  24.92%




Tamil and Sinhala population in AMPARAI DISTRICT

(Table is shown on language basis)

 (Amparai district was created in 1963)


                                                                        Tamil                           Sinhala

                        Year                                        Speaking                    Speaking


                        1963                                        70.22%                        29.34%

                        1971                                        69.47%                        30.18%

                        1981                                        62.03%                        37.64%




Since 1827 - Tamil and Sinhala populations in BATTICALOA DISTRICT

(Table is shown on language basis )

(Until 1963 it includes Amparai district)


                                                                                    Tamil                           Sinhala

                                    Year                                        Speaking                    Speaking

                                    1827                                        99.62%                        0.00%

                                    1881                                        93.27%                        4.75%

                                    1891                                        93.2%                          5.21%

                                    1901                                        92.34%                        5.21%

                                    1911                                        92.95%                        3.74%

                                    1921                                        93.12%                        4.56%

                                    1946                                        92.55%                        5.83%

                                    1953                                        87.64%                        11.52%

                                    1963*                                       95.6%                          3.35%*

                                    1971                                        94.49%                        4.49%

                                    1981                                        95.95%                        3.21%


* Creation of Amparai district


Since 1827 - Tamil and Sinhala populations in TRINCOMALEE DISTRICT

(Table is shown on language basis)


                        Year                            Tamil Speaking                                 Sinhala Speaking

                                                            Total               %                                 Total               %

                        1827                            18,908             98.45%                             250             1.53%

                        1881                            20,120             90.72%                             935             4.21%

                        1891                            23,543             91.44%                          1,109             4.3%

                        1901                            25,327             89.04%                          1,203             4.22%

                        1911                            26,947             90.54%                          1,138             3.82%

                        1921                            31,432             92.13%                          1,501             4.38%

                        1946                            57,014             75.09%                        11,606             20.68%

                        1953                            66,133             78.8%                          15,296             18.22%

                        1963                            96,610             79.25%                        40,950             19.9%

                        1971                          131,673             70.2%                          54,744             28.8%

                        1981                          167,813             65.38%                        86,341             33.62%


Since 1827 - Tamil and Sinhala populations in VAVUNIYA DISTRICT

(Table is shown on  language basis)


Year                            Tamil   Speaking                                Sinhala Speaking


                                                            Total               %                                 Total               %

                        1827                              8,011             94.3%                          517                  5.7%

                        1881                            14,297             91.9%                       1,272                  8.1%

                        1891                            14,169             91.4%                       1,332                  8.6%

                        1901                            13,795             91.1%                       1,364                  8.9%

                        1911                            15,300             88.2%                       2,036                11.8%

                        1921                            16,323             87.3%                       2,383                12.7%

                        1946                            19,224             82.7%                       4,022                17.3%

                        1953                            28,901             82.3%                       6,211                17.7%

                        1963                            56,300             82.3%                     12,190                17.7%

                        1971                            78,900             82.9%                     16,346                17.1%

                        1981                            80,373             83.2%                     15,531                16.8%


 Since 1827 - Tamil and Sinhala populations in MANNAR DISTRICT

(Table is shown on  language basis)


Year                            Tamil   Speaking                                Sinhala Speaking

                                                            Total               %                                 Total               %

                        1827                            13,408           100.0%                          ---                    ----

                        1881                            21,050             98.6%                          298                  1.4%

                        1891                            24,241             98.9%                          270                  1.1%

                        1901                            24,563             98.6%                          363                  1.4%

                        1911                            24,823             96.9%                          780                  3.1%

                        1921                            24,951             97.6%                          631                  2.4%

                        1946                            30,033             95.2%                       1,505                  4.8%

                        1953                            41,344             94.6%                       2,345                  5.4%

                        1963                            57,400             95.4%                       2,780                  4.6%

                        1971                            74,501             95.8%                       3,279                  4.2%

                        1981                            96,642             90.4%                     10,298                  8.6,%



Population in Tamil hereditary regions - 1981


Mullaitivu                            77,512                        Batticaloa                    330,899

Vavuniya                              95,904                       Amparai                       388,786

Mannar                              106,940                       Puttalam                      493,344

Trincomalee                      254,154                       Jaffna                          831,112



Tamil refugees around the World

Tamil Centre for Human Rights - TCHR/CTDH                                Email : /


Country                                  Applied                       Accepted                    Rejected       

Austria                                         700                          N/K                              N/K

Australia                                +10000                          N/K                              N/K

Belgium                                       800                          N/K                              N/K

Canada                              +200,000                          N/K                              N/K

Denmark                                   7000                          2000                            N/K

France                                   +30000                          20000                          7000

Finland                                      2000                          N/K                              N/K

Germany                               +40000                          N/K                              N/K

Italy                                            1500                          01                                999

India                                    +180,000                          N/K                              N/K

Netherlands                               8000                          2300                            2500

Norway                                      6000                          N/K                              N/K

Sweden                                     1200                          N/K                              N/K

Switzerland                           +35000                          N/K                              12000

United Kingdom                    +10000                          200                              N/K

United States                          +1000                          N/K                              N/K


         +30,000  On transit in Far-East, Africa, Russia and Eastern  Europe 


NK = Numbers not known (But there are)

These are approximate figures as of October 1998. All are victims and witnesses of human rights violations in Sri Lanka.



Education and Employment



v      Half a million Tamils have fled racist persecution in the island of Sri Lanka over the last two decades, and are living in many different parts of the world, mostly as refugees.


v      In their host countries they can be on the receiving end of racism and xenophobia.


v      The residual responsibility of colonial powers, which helped create the current conflict, is not addressed.  Some Western powerful nations actually support the Sri Lankan government’s genocidal policy with monetary aids and arms ­ artificially propping it up and giving moral courage to the government to continue the war against Tamils.


v      Commercial transactions between some of these states and Sri Lanka rank higher than respect for human rights.


v      Some Tamil asylum seekers in western countries have been deported back to Sri Lanka by such governments and have faced torture and horrific consequences.


v      The Tamil hereditary areas in the North and East of the island of Sri Lanka have faced horrific environmental destruction. Vast areas of agricultural lands have been destroyed. Trees, and land cultivated over decades have been left devastated by carpet bombing and incendiary devices such as petrol and tar bombings.





Minimum marks for University admission in Sri Lanka - 1971

(Table is shown on a language basis - 1981)


                                                            Sinhala                      Tamil              Discriminating

Faculty                                              Students                   Students       Marks


Medicine                                              229                              250                              21

Engineering                                         227                              250                              23

Engineering (Kattupatai)                     212                              232                              20

Bio-Science                                        175                              181                              06

Agriculture/Physical Science              183                              204                              21

Architecture                                         180                              194                              14



Both Sinhala and Tamil students follow the same syllabus and sit the same public  exam, but Sinhala students can enter the University with less marks than the Tamil  students and also have priority to choose the University they opt!


In 1972 Equal education opportunities for Tamil students were denied. Standardisation on University admission was legalised in Sri Lanka to satisfy the Sinhala community. This was the beginning of “Standardisation” in Education in Sri Lanka.




1973      Standardisation came into effect

1974      Standardisation on District basis was introduced

1975      Standardisation and District ratio

1976      Standardisation 70% and District basis 30%


At a later stage admission to the Universities were allocated on :


1 -        Merit                                       30 %

2-                 District basis                         55%

3-                 Backward Districts               15%



University Admission 1969-1980

(Table is shown on  language basis - 1981)



                                                Sinhalese       %                     Tamils             %                     Others           



Arts                                         2522               88.4%             269                 11.5%             0.1%  

Science                                    457               57.7%             328                 41.4%             0.9%



Arts                                         2226               89.9%             273                 11%                0.1%

Science                                    579               60.6%             358                 37.5%             1.9%



Arts                                         2073               92.6%             161                 7.2%               0.2%

Science                                    680               63.2%             377                 35.3%             1.5%



Arts                                         2053               91.5%             182                 8.1%               0.4%

Science                                  7933               67.4%             371                 31.5%             1.1%



Arts                                         1934               86%                310                 13.7%             0.3%

Science                                  1058               75.4%             340                 24.2%             0.4%



Arts                                         2428               81.92 %          534                 18.02%           0.6%

Science                                  1476               78.42%           409                 21.58%           -----







Since 1956 - Decrease in Tamil ratio in the Government Service


Sector                                                            1956               1965               1970

Administrative                                                   30%                 20%                 5%

Clerical Service (Post office, Railway, Customs)                 50%                30%                5%

Doctors, Engineers, University lecturers                    60%                 30%                10%

Security forces                                                            40%                 30%                 1%

Workers                                                                      40%                 20%                 5%

Security Forces                                                          (See page 17)


At the moment the employment opportunities for Tamils are not even 2%



Employment opportunity in Government Service 1972

(Table is shown on language basis)


                                                            Sinhalese                   Tamils                         Others


Government Dept.                  67.7%                          31%                             1.3%

White Collar job                      81.2%                          17.5%                          0.12%

School Teachers                    81.5%                          18.2%                          0.3%

Workers                                  86.4%                          12.5%                          1.1%

Labourers                                85.5%                          13.6%                          0.9%



Main employment in Semi-Government

 (Table is shown on language basis - 1981)


            Sectors                      Sinhalese       %                     Tamils             %                     Others


High Tech                                8,155               75.5%              2,570                 24.5%            0.69%

Admin. Managers                    4,539               83,31%               865               12.51%            0.80%

Clerks                                    62,596               86.28%            9,265                 3.34%            0.63%

Salesperson                               852               87.28%               117                 8.32%            1.18%

Service                                  11,602               87.06%               552                 8.39%            0.65%

Production/Transport          101,884               88.00%          13,292                 8.36%            0.58%



Executive positions in  the State administration and Engineering Field

(Table is shown on a language basis - 1981)


                                    Sinhalese       %                     Tamils             %                     Others


SL Admin. Service                     144               100%                   -----                 -----               -----

Permanent Sec. (Ministries)             39               95,12%                   2                 4.88%            -----

Competent Authorities               224               79.15%                 46               16.25%           4.59%

Additional Secretaries                  25               83.33%                   4               13.33%           3.33%

Other Secretaries                      107               89.17%                   9                  7.50%           3.33%

Corporation (Chairmen)                         86               88.66%                   6                  6.19%           5.15%





Population based on religion in 1946 in Ceylon (Sri Lanka)


Community              Buddhists                Hindus          Islam             Christians


Sinhalese                    91.9%                          0.1%                0.1%                7.9%

Ceylon Tamils             2.6%                            80,6%              0.3%                16.5%

Plantation Tamils        1.3%                            89.3%              0.3%                9.1%

Muslims                       0.7%                            0.3%                98.7%              0.3%


More than 2000 Hindu Temples Destroyed in

Tamil hereditary regions


More than 2000 Hindu temples have been damaged and rendered useless while 300 Hindu temples have been totally destroyed due to ongoing war in the North and East. According to the memorandum forwarded to the Director General of the UNESCO by the Hindu Religious Priest Organisation of the North East Province.


The organisation further alleges that most of the Tamil and Sanskrit Scriptures, both printed and in manuscript, stone and metal idols have been destroyed.


The memorandum sent to UNESCO includes annexes giving detailed particulars of Hindu shrines destroyed during the 14 year conflict.


Cost of damage to Hindu Temples

(Figures released by the office of the Hindu religious and *Cultural Affairs on 4 October 1993)


District                                   No. of Temples                    Estimated cost of Damaged

                        Jaffna                                      513                                         127,792,953.00

                        Kilinochchi                               33                                              2,100,000.00

                        Mullaithivu                              131                                           39,744,000.00

                        Mannar                                   37                                                6,969,000.00

                        Vavuniya                                136                                           15,706,000.00

                        Trincomalee                           199                                           33,470,500.00

                        Batticaloa                               283                                           26,660,739.00

                        Amparai                                 147                                           30,648,100.00


            * Government Ministry


Act of discrimination on Hindu, Muslim Public holidays


Having half boiled public holidays only for those of a particular religion is creating confusion and administrative problems besides being an act of discrimination or insult against those people, an MP has said.


UNP Parliamentarian A.H.M. Azwar appealed to the government that the Haj Festival on April 8 be declared a full public holiday instead of a holiday for Muslims only.


As part of the holiday cutting measures to improve productivity, the government had from last year removed Haj and Maha Sivarathri from the list of full public holidays and made them holidays only for the particular Communities.


Earlier Hindus also protested by asking that Maha Sivarathri on Feb. 25 be restored as a full public holiday. Mr. Azwar said he had made several appeals in Parliament and elsewhere asking that the Haj public holiday be restored and pointing out that it was a holiday even for the United Nations. (The Sunday Times 29 March 1998)


Mahavamsa sanctions killings of Tamils !


‘’What sustains and nourishes Sinhala-Buddhist jingoism to this day is a Buddhist chronicle originally written in Pali-the Mahavamsa. Authored by Buddhist monks and believed to have been written beginning in the sixth century A.D.,……………


‘’To readers who know the close affinity of both religions might wonder why Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka destroy HinduTemples. It might come as a surprise that Mahavamasa sanctions killing of Tamils !” (Translated into English by Wilhelm Geiger, published by the Ceylon Government Information Department, Colombo 1950).  (S. Sivanayagam ­ Editor ‘Saturday Review’, ‘Tamil Nation’ and ‘Hot Spring’)


Historical Hindu Temples ruined


World famous five renowned Hindu shrines were in existence in Ceylon-Sri Lanka long before Lord Buddha was born. (1) Thirukketheeswaram ­ Mannar (2) Thirukonneswaram  - Trincomalee (3) Naguleswaram ­ Keerimalai, Jaffna (4) Munneswaram ­ Chillaw (5) Thondeswaram ­ East, Batticaloa.


SAINTS Thirugnanasampatha Moorthy Nayanar (7th century A.D.) and Sunthara Moorthy Nayanar (9th century A.D.) have sung hymns in praise of Thirukketheeswaram and Thirukonneswaram.


The Sri Lankan governments have planned in such a way, that all five Hindu shrines are under the control of the Sri Lankan security forces. These historic temples are in ruins ! The assets including jewellery belongs to these temples were stolen by the Sri Lankan security forces.


Massacres in the Christian churches


The Tamils who have sought shelter in churches in the Tamil hereditary regions have been massacred by security forces. Many Christian churches were bombed and destroyed during on-going military operations. On 11 July 1995, 165 Tamils were killed at Navaly St. Peter’s church in the Jaffna peninsula. Again on 22 November 1999, 38 Tamils were killed at Madhu church in Mannar.




v      Institutional racism permeates the entire judicial system - Tamils in Sri Lanka have no protection under the rule of law. NOT ONE independent investigation on the mass killings and mass graves or any human rights violations of Tamils have been carried out!


v      “Commissions of Inquiry” lead no-where. Transfers of soldiers and transfers of court cases continually avoid the punishment of perpetrators of human rights violations. Tamils are obliged to travel to unsafe areas where they face threats and intimidation. They live in constant fear. Whereas Sinhala soldiers successfully appeal to have cases transferred to courts in Sinhala areas. The state allows this blatant discrimination.


v      27 years of Emergency Regulations and 22 years of Prevention of Terrorism Act have facilitated the committing of gross human rights violations, by Sri Lankan Security forces against the Tamils, with impunity.


v      The role of the state religion has unfortunately been to induce and whip up hatred and fear. It has backed the war against the Tamil people. Hated crimes have been and still are widespread. In 1983 state-sponsored anti-Tamil pogroms killed thousands of Tamils in cold blood. During the subsequent period of armed conflict, the Buddhist monks and majority of the Sinhala political leadership have called on the Sinhalese to fight against the Tamils’ struggle for their right to self determination.


v      The Sri Lankan army which occupies the Tamil hereditary areas commits heinous crimes on a routine basis - arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, rapes, disappearances and extra-judicial killings. The Sri Lankan security forces do not speak Tamil and treat all Tamils with suspicion. All civilians are protected persons under the Geneva Conventions but the Sri Lankan security forces pay no heed to them. The Sri Lankan government systematically breaches its obligations under these Conventions to which it is a party. Regularly, Tamil detainees are tortured, to sign confessions under duress, in Sinhala, a language they do not know.


v      Massacres of defenceless detainees have taken place while state agencies - prison guards have looked on, or even joined in.




                        1986                1988                1993                1995                1996                1997


Army                30,000             40,000             90,000             105,000           118,890           135,000

Navy                  3,960               5,500             10,100               10,300             11,831             12,000

Air Force           3,700               3,700             10,700               10,700             12,292             12,500

Police              21,000             21,000             40,000               80,000             80,000             80,000

STF and

Paramilitary     5,000              7,000              8,000              8,000              8,000              8,000


Total               63,000             77,200             158,800           214,000           231,013           247,500


(Source : Air Vice Marshal - Harry Gunatilleke - Weekend Express of  25-26 April 1998)


99% Sinhalese in Army and Police


"The security forces, comprised members of the army and the police are 99% Sinhalese and do not speak Tamil which is the language of the local population and very often treat the local population with suspicion. This amplifies the sense of an army occupation and exacerbates the already existing feeling of alienation".


(Mr. Bacre Waly Ndiaye ­ Special Rapporteur on extra judicial, summary or arbitrary executions visited Sri Lanka from 24 August to 5 September 1997 ­ E/CN/.4/1998/Add/2 dated 12 March 1998)


Military expenditure for operations in
Tamil Hereditary regions


                                    Year                                        Amount


1977                                                         50 Million rupees

1978                                                         56 Million rupees

1983                            197.7 Million rupees

1984                                                        232.9 Million rupees

1985                                                        619.6 Million rupees

1986                                                        869.6 Million rupees

1987                                                        1000  Million rupees

1996                                                        $ 640 Million dollars

1998                            $ 719 Million dollars


Military expenditure for Year 2000


The concerns of the World Bank seem to have had no effect. The Sri Lankan government tabled supplementary estimates in Parliament on 9 August for an additional Rs 28 billion ($360million) for defence. The total expenditure for defence for the year 2000, excluding many hidden expenditures, stands at a staggering Rs 80.43 billion ($1.3 billion), nearly 8% of GDP.



World Bank to pay for those weapons in Sri Lanka!


‘’The Israelis also trained elite forces…………, and helped Sri Lanka cheat the World Bank and other investors out of millions of dollars to pay for all the arms they were buying from them.


‘’Periodical World Bank representatives would go to Sri Lanka for spot checks, but the locals had been taught how to fool these inspectors by taking them on circuitous routes easily explained for security reasons ­ then back to the same, quite small area where some construction actually had been carried out for just this purpose.


‘’Ironically, the project (Irrigation) had been invented to get money from the World Bank to pay for those weapons.’’ (Excerpts from ‘’By Way of Deception’’ ­ Claire Hoy and Victor Ostrovsky)



Number of Deaths range from 78,000 to 100,000

The conflict has claimed approximately 80,000 lives.  More than 62, 400 people have been killed since the war broke out in 1983. [Associated Press in Times of India, 27 September 2000]


In 1997 the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimated total conflict deaths from 78,000 to 100,000 since 1983.



Tamil Political Detainees killed in Prisons


The Tamil political detainees are kept in prisons alongside hardened Sinhala criminals and drug addicts who ill-treat them in various ways. There were many incidents in Sri Lanka when convicted Sinhala prisoners, with the connivance of prison guards and soldiers massacred Tamils detainees. As the governments have masterminded these killings, no independent inquires have been held so far !


Date                              Prison                          Incident


25-27  July 1983                    Welikadai  Prison, Colombo                       53        Hacked to death

    22    Apr  1987                   Magazine  Prison, Kalutara             15        Seriously injured

            Feb 1996                   Magazine  Prison, Kalutara             27        Seriously injured

    12    Dec 1997                   Magazine  Prison, Kalutara             03        Hacked to death - 19 injured

     6     Jan 1999                    Magazine  Prison, Kalutara             03        Killed - 33 seriously injured

     7     Jan 1999                    Magazine  Prison, Kalutara             15        Seriously injured

   28     Jan 1999                    Welikadai  Prison, Colombo                       03        Women seriously injured

   25     Jan 2000                    Bindunuwewa Detention Centre                  31        Hacked to death-78 injured

                                                (Boys under the age of 16)






v      Tamil women face sexual torture and racial discrimination of the most violent kind. Gang-rapes and killings of Tamil women by Sri Lankan security forces are routine. The methods of killing and the mode of disposal of bodies have become more and more gruesome as soldiers have tried to conceal their war-crimes. Rape is being used as a weapon of war against Tamils to humiliate, subjugate, and terrorise.


v      Tamil women often remove the “pottu” on their forehead, a cultural and religious tradition, in order to avoid being identified as a Tamil, in Southern areas. Simply being a Tamil is enough to be arrested, detained, tortured, and killed or even to disappear. Even if she can remove her pottu, if she does not know the Sinhala language fluently, she will be identified as a Tamil. Even if she knows Sinhala, she will be discovered to be Tamil  when she shows her Identity card (ID) at a checkpoint, and has to face the consequences.


v      In the Tamil hereditary regions, there were many forced marriages between the Security personnel and Tamil girls. The Tamil girls get married through fear, to the Sinhala soldiers.


v      Sterilisation is on the increase in the hill country not as family planning but as a measure of ethnic cleansing. Tamil women under the age of 19 have been sterilised.


v      In Sri Lanka, there are 20 different passes ONLY for the Tamils! Failure to carry these passes will result either in arrest or disappearance. For women there is the added fear of sexual violence and rape by security forces.





(53rd Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights - 25 March 1997)


“The Sri Lankan Government security forces persecute Tamils throughout the island with arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention, torture, involuntary disappearances and extra-judicial killings. In short, every Tamil man or woman has become a target.


The Sri Lankan Government also permits the existence of shadowy para-military groups, who are really hitmen and henchmen of poor-calibre politicians, who also indulge in the crimes mentioned above.”


by the late Mr. G. G. Ponnambalam

Humanitarian Law Project - USA


(Mr. G. G. Ponnambalam - assassinated by so-called unknown gunmen on 5/1/2000)




22 Years of PTA


In July 1979 the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) was introduced in Sri Lanka. The Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary provision) Act No. 48 of 1979 gives wide powers to the police and the Minister of Defence to arrest and detain Tamils for a period of 18 months at a stretch without being produced in courts. This Act gives a free hand to the Security forces to arrest, detain, torture, rape, kill and dispose bodies with impunity.



Year 2000 - over 18,000 arrested under PTA-ER


14 February 2001 - More than 18,000 persons, mostly Tamils, were arrested under the draconian Emergency Regulations (ER) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) last year, said a senior human rights worker in Colombo. "The press in Colombo reported 13,514 arrests under the ER and PTA from January to November 2000. More than forty percent of the arrests under the ER and PTA are not reported by the press here. So the real figure would be not anything less than eighteen thousand," Mr. N. Kandasamy, co-ordinator for the Centre for Human Rights and Development in Colombo said. At least 2,500 Tamils are being held in various detention centres now, according to him. "They are all political prisoners" Mr. Kandasamy said.


"Not all those arrested under the ER and PTA are issued with receipt of the arrest and all arrests should be reported to the Human Rights Commission according to the law. But this is not the case",  says Mr. N. Kandasamy, Co-ordinator for the Centre for Human Rights, Colombo.

There are many unauthorised detention centres in many parts of the island. It is required under the law to publish in the government gazette all authorised places of detention. But not all places are gazetted and authorised under the law, human rights workers say.


(An average of 50 persons per day arrested under PTA-ER in Sri Lanka !)




"Torture has been banned by UN treaty since 1987… but since the beginning of 1972, torture became  a major problem in Sri Lanka. Arrested People, especially Tamils are tortured not just for information but because of who they are or what they believe".                                - TCHR


Rape as a weapon of war


According to our statistics of international Human Rights organisations:








v      "Self-determination is essentially a right of people……. of specific type of human community sharing a common desire to establish an entity capable of functioning to ensure a common future." (UN Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/405/Rev.1 (1980) at p.9 - UN Sales No. e.79.XIV.5)


v      Some countries still feel uncomfortable with the principle of self-determination and this has resulted in a curious insecurity regarding the consequences of the right to self-determination.


v      The current Tamil national struggle has not been viewed as justified in the exercise of self-determination by many Sinhala politicians.


v      All arguments about the existence of an ancient Tamil kingdom of the Tamil people and their full functioning as an independent country prior to colonial rule have fallen on deaf ears.


v      Previous decades of attempts to solve the political problems by discussions among the political leaders in a majority Sinhala government had failed miserably. Every agreement was torn up and broken by the Sinhala leaders due to the objection by Buddhist clergies.


v      Way back in the 1977 General election (the last free and fair elections in which the Tamils in the North-East participated), Tamils overwhelmingly voted in favour of exercising their right to  self-determination.


v      This democratic mandate of the right to self determination of the Tamils was subsequently prohibited by the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution in parliament by Sinhala leaders.


v      The yearning for basic respect for fundamental rights and freedoms grew within the Tamil people. Although these rights and freedoms are guaranteed under international law ­ they do not exist in reality for the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka.


v      The right to self-determination of the Tamil people is based on both persistent human rights violations and historic independence.







We are assembled here on this occasion to express the voice of our soul with unanimity. The government of Sri Lanka should stop this ruinous and dangerous war forthwith and commence a just and meaningful negotiation with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - LTTE.


Through this negotiation we should find a political solution to fulfil the aspirations of the Tamils by recognizing the concepts of :






The feelings of our people have been frozen due to fear of long-term oppressive measures.


Please understand the genuine feelings and aspirations of our people in a clear perspective.


You should therefore in all conscience speak for finding a just and durable solution for our peaceful living.


1) The Jaffna university teachers' association

2) The Jaffna university students' union

3) The Jaffna university executive officers' union

4) The Jaffna university employers' union

5) The Jaffna university clerical & technical staff union


(Since this declaration was made, Tamil Diaspora living in various parts of the world have endorsed it)